Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $299 - $401 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros: Stylish, tailored and well-fitting, full length 2-way zipper, wide and non-restrictive sleeve cuffs
Cons: No hood, not as thick or warm as other parkas
Best Uses: Around town
This chic parka is a well-tailored winter coat that preserves a woman's curves rather than hiding them under poofy baffles. Although not very thick, the 800 fill down is warm for its weight, making this an excellent choice for a fashion-conscious woman living in a mild climate. It does not have a hood, so if you find this feature a necessity, check out the Patagonia Ultralight Fiona Parka – Women's, which is roughly the same warmth, lighter in weight, and includes a hood. For something thicker and warmer to stand up to harsher weather, we like the Canada Goose Kensington Parka and The North Face Metropolis Parka – Women's.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
A lightweight and highly stylish winter coat, this is a feminine, everyday insulation layer.
The Fiona has 4.5 ounces of 800 fill down (127 g), compared to the Fiona Ultralight, which has 4.7 ounces of down (including a hood). If you subtract the hood, this is roughly the same amount of insulation, making them similar in warmth. The thinness and lightness of this piece make it less warm than thicker models that contain more down, but it is much better looking than other lightweight down jackets that tend to look very technical.
Comfort & Coziness
With no hood and no soft material in the pockets or along the chin, this parka aims for high fashion rather than high comfort. However, some features, such as the 2-way zipper and the roomy sleeve cuffs allow for a well-fitting, easy to wear parka with a feminine flair.
Style & Construction
Using the light method of sewn-through construction, the Fiona is a thin, tailored winter parka with a feminine look. We prefer the fit and cut of the Fiona to The North Face Metropolis, which is a little too baggy in the waist. The material on the Fiona has a matte finish to it, while the Ultralight has a high-gloss finish.
The polyester fabric used on the Fiona is not the most durable material, and tends to snag. Though we have not had any issues with the durability of this jacket in every day use.
Wind & Water Resistance
The recycled polyester is made from recycled soda bottles and used garments to create a windproof shell material. It prevents cold air from reaching your body through the coat, which is an advantage of this model over the Ultralight Fiona, which is not windproof. A DWR coating repels a light mist of water from reaching the down. It does not withstand heavy precipitation.
Compactness & Weight
Weighing just under a pound, the Fiona parka is very lightweight, even though the Ultralight manages to weigh even less.
This parka is best suited to around town use and every day winter wear.
For $100 less than the Ultralight Fiona parka, this is a great deal by comparison. The jackets have a similar look and fit, and similar warmth, while both being lightweight and compressible. This is the least expensive long parka, and is a good deal for a dressy winter coat.
If you only aim for good looks with your winter jacket purchase, then this may be the piece for you. If you require warmth and protection, try some of the thicker and more weather resistant models.
The Patagonia Ultralight Fiona Parka- Women's, $400, is the perfect long jacket for a woman looking to combine fashion and function. The length adds warmth while the lightweight shell material prevents it from being heavy or bulky. It is the only long, casual jacket in this review that would also be conducive to camping and traveling. Similar in style and design to the Fiona Parka, the Ultralight version steps it up by also including a hood and a stuff sack, making it the more versatile and functional model.
The Patagonia DAS Parka and Patagonia DAS Parka - Women's , $300, is a classic cold weather jacket - and it will certainly keep you warm. Most people will be better served by a lighter insulated jacket that can be better layered with other pieces. However if you are looking for the warmest synthetic jacket, this is probably you best bet. The DAS parka or "Dead Air Space" Parka has been a cornerstone of climbing parkas for over 20 years with no extra frills and a boxy cut designed to fit over your other layers. The men's jacket wins our Top Pick Award, and both are the ultimate belay jacket for ice climbing or a warm layer for overnight ski tours.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: January 6, 2014
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